The Street Children Empowerment Foundation, in collaboration with Dancers Without Borders (Tänzen ohne Grenzen), Dzeŋ Nako Cultural Troupe, and Goethe Institut has organised a Global Water Dances performance 2023, as part of efforts of using dance as a universal language and advocacy to promote safe water and also educate street-connected children about climate change and waste management.
The performances are based on research and artistic expression, showcasing practical ways to contribute to mitigating environmental disasters.
The event which was held in grand style featured a dance performance by SCEF and other local NGOs and stakeholders, involving street-connected children and youth, as well as professional and amateur dancers.
The dance performance, titled: “Nye Awo,” meaning “Mother Earth literally referring to the sea as the mother of all water bodies” in Ga, is a unique blend of traditional and contemporary elements.
It also portrayed a multidimensional story that assesses the efforts of SCEF, Global Water, Dance, Dzen Nako Cultural Troupe, and our partners in promoting environmentally sustainable practices among Ghana’s young generation.
The choreography, which takes cues from Ghanaian and African dance styles will highlight the “toxic” relationship between Mother Earth and her children while underlining the importance of sustainable environmental practices.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of the Street Children Empowerment Foundation Mr. Paul Semeh, cited the June 3rd Disaster that claimed innocent lives overnight.
The floods were caused by a blockage in Accra’s main storm drains, which were caused by squatters who had blocked waterways, as well as the non-desilting of the drains.
According to him, in order to avoid recurring such tragic incidents there is a need to educate people about sanitation and waste management.
Stressing that Global Water Dances (GWD) event was one of the means of raising awareness about the environmental issue of water through dance performances in different locations around the world.
Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu, Director of Sports at the University of Ghana and Board Chairman of SCEF, also emphasized the importance of behavioral change, citing increasing evidence that climate change is a human factor.
He also entreated Ghanaians to stop throwing refuse into gutters since poor sanitation contributes to water pollution.
Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu, also commended Street Children Empowerment Foundation Without Borders (Tänzen ohne Grenzen), Dzeŋ Nako Cultural Troupe, Goethe Institut, and its partners coming out such laudable initiatives to n promote environmentally sustainable practices among Ghana’s young generation.
The Founder of Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND) Mr. Chibez Ezekiel also underscored the need for paying critical attention to climate change issues since it has it debilitating effect on human life.
However, he cited the planting of trees and conserving of the water bodies as a means of mitigating the devastating effect of climate change that will cause drought and subsequent food shortages.
Why Water and Waste Management Important To SCEF and Its Partners.
Water is essential for life, health, food, energy, and ecosystems. However, water resources are under increasing pressure from population growth, urbanization, climate change, pollution, and overexploitation.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services, and more than 4 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation services.
- In Ghana, only 27% of the population has access to basic sanitation services, and 19% still practice open defecation. Poor sanitation contributes to water pollution and diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, and dysentery.
- Waste management is also a major challenge in Ghana, especially plastic waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana generates about 1.7 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, but only 2% is recycled.
- The rest ends up in landfills, drains, streets, beaches, and water bodies. Plastic waste poses serious threats to the environment, wildlife, human health, and the economy.
- Plastic waste can block drainage systems, cause flooding, contaminate water sources, harm marine life, release toxic chemicals, and reduce tourism revenue.